What to do if you have not entered a university or college

This question is often asked to parents of ninth and eleventh graders. “Do not be afraid of anything,” – diplomatically dad and mom leave the answer, hoping in their hearts that this will not happen to their child. And in vain. Exams, like a lottery, can win or fail. But this is not the end of the story. Therefore, rather than wasting time on healing mental bruises, it is better to develop a strategy in advance for moving forward. “After a bad harvest, the only way out is to sow again,” Seneca said. And many successful people will confirm that getting on the right road sometimes requires taking a step back. And there is nothing wrong with that …


1 Education yesterday and today

1.1 How to choose an educational institution to have a better chance of admission

1.2 How to be a student who did not go anywhere after grade 9

2 What to do if you have not entered the university

2.1 What you can do in the free year

2.2 Summary

Education yesterday and today

In the Soviet years, one of the signs of social success was considered to have a higher education. A bright mind, golden hands and outstanding talent could not compensate for the absence of the coveted diploma. Around that time, the saying “Knowledge is power, ignorance is labor power” appeared. Even if the crusts were bought in an underground passage, you are a fine fellow, and your classmate without a document on the “tower” is a seller.

In the dashing perestroika, when money appeared out of nowhere and went nowhere, they started talking about the uselessness of gaining knowledge.

“Tolyan graduated from the parish school, and Trump was five minutes away,” was the typical reasoning for those years. The words “smart” and “rich” were considered mutually exclusive.

In post-perestroika times, it has become prestigious to have several educations and an MBA degree to the heap. Looking at such clever people, I wanted to say: “Maybe you will go and work?” But when applying for a job, magic crusts and mysterious abbreviations acted on personnel officers like a valerian on cats and guaranteed protection from unemployment.

Then the passions subsided. Labor market experts announced: there are too many economists and marketers in the country, and there is a shortage of locksmiths and turners. The last noticeably increased their salaries. And school graduates were drawn to schools and technical schools. Colleges have appeared – educational institutions that work on in-depth educational programs and help prepare for admission to an institute or university.

In the 80s, in the “sharagi” and “waybills” (as the people contemptuously called secondary vocational educational institutions), teachers strongly recommended that outsiders of the school educational process should act. That is, to C-graders and Lose-graders. Everyone knew that vocational school was deciphered only as “help the dumb get settled.”

But today the attitude towards schools has changed. They are considered a decent starting point for a profession. Many rightly view these educational institutions as an opportunity to acquire highly skilled and highly paid blue-collar jobs, which are in great demand today.

In 2017, the results of the project were published, in which about four thousand students of the 9th grade took part. Sociologists have observed where young people receive education and what career aspirations they prefer.

According to the results of the study, about 40% of ninth-grade graduates continued their studies in technical schools, schools and colleges. About 80% of those schoolchildren who then graduated from the 11th grade entered universities. To study in secondary specialized educational institutions, young men more often aspired, and in institutes and universities – girls.

The attitude of society towards education has changed in recent years. Its necessity and benefit is still not disputed by anyone. However, a university diploma is no longer an absolute advantage over a college diploma. The labor market dictates its own conditions, thanks to which graduates of universities and vocational schools have equal chances for professional and career growth.

Today, school graduates are not limited in their choice of education. Modern young people have ample opportunities for education in educational institutions of various levels. The main thing is to make the right choice and make some effort to implement your plans.

How to choose an educational institution to have a better chance of admission

Unsatisfactory attempts to conquer a college or institute are often the result of inadequate preparation for this important event. And it’s not only about the knowledge of examination subjects, but also about the correct approach to the choice of a specialty and the place of obtaining it. In this regard, we will allow ourselves some recommendations.

  • The question of where to go to study should be decided in advance – at least a year before the end of the 9th or 11th grade. During this time, you can manage to get a complete picture of the profession, as well as the educational institution in which the graduate plans to enter.
  • When choosing an “alma mater”, it is necessary to determine professional preferences, and then correlate them with the level of education received at school. If a child dreams of becoming a doctor but has low scores in biology, there is little chance of being admitted to medical school. Perhaps, for a start, it is worth paying attention to medical schools. Or pull up school grades.
  • We advise you to study the labor market. Pay attention to the ratings of the professions in demand, so that in the future a graduate with a diploma in his hands will not be left without a job. Educational websites regularly publish the Top 10 most relevant specialties in Russiaand abroad. Trade shows and job fairs provide a good indication of employment preferences.
  • We recommend prospective applicants and their parents to analyze educational institutions teaching the chosen profession and to get acquainted with their possibilities in advance. It is best to do this during the Open House days, which colleges, technical schools, colleges and universities organize 1-2 times a year. At such events, there is an opportunity to communicate with teachers, students, learn about the number of educational areas, the conditions for admission to the budget, the cost of paid education, the amount of the scholarship, etc.
  • It should be taken into account that the rating of an educational institution affects the rigidity of the selection of students. In prestigious (rating) colleges and universities, the competition is higher, the examinations are more difficult, the examiners are picky. Applicants need to assess the level of their training as objectively as possible, and their parents – financial opportunities if the child enters a paid department.
  • Career orientation tests help determine the profession. It may happen that the specialty chosen by the student does not suit him for some reason. Determining this compatibility is the task of the psychologist.

How to be a student who did not go anywhere after grade 9

Secondary education in Russia is compulsory. This is determined by the Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation”. However, this does not mean that a graduate can be admitted at will to any educational institution. Most of them accept students on a competitive basis and the applicant may have to fight for a budget place.

What are the options for obtaining secondary education and what to do if you have not entered college and technical school:

  1. Continue your studies in the tenth and eleventh grades. If a graduate, for some reason, did not like the teaching staff of the school from which he left, his return may be in question. The most common reason is poor academic performance. Parents should be aware that an educational institution does not have the right to interfere with obtaining a certificate – this is illegal. Complaints must be addressed to the local education department. However, in order not to drag your child into a conflict situation, try choosing a different school. Often, a change in educational institution, teachers and classmates leads to improved learning outcomes.
  2. Sign up for preparatory courses in educational institutions of interest . They can be attended in parallel with classes at school. The next year or two, it will be easier to pass the exams .
  3. Choose another college or technical school where students are recruited . Perhaps you will not be offered the specialty that you expected. Don’t give up right away. Consider pursuing a similar or different career path that suits your interests and abilities.
  4. Pay attention to vocational schools . We repeat, today they are training personnel that are in great demand on the labor market. Even if you see yourself as an engineer in the future , it never hurts to have a well-paid secondary blue-collar job. Who knows, maybe it is she who will become the launching pad in your successful career advancement.

What to do if you have not entered the university

When you see a girl crying who has failed her university exams, or how a guy looks like who was killed, who did not find himself on the list of enrolled in the institute, you want to say: “Let this be the greatest grief in your life.”

Consolations at such moments have a low utility rate. After all, the feelings of young people are easy to understand – only yesterday the plans seemed real, the dreams were “profitable”, and the prospects were bright. And only one missing score crossed out everything. The world collapsed, the sky sank to the ground, the darkness swallowed the sun.

How would John Rockefeller laugh now, who had high school and accelerated accounting courses behind him, but managed to become one of the richest people in the world! By the way, the “father” of the automotive industry, Henry Ford, also did not receive an engineering education, but acquired basic knowledge while working as a mechanic in a car repair shop.

If this fact can console, on average 35% of students, especially technical universities, after their first year of study understands that they made a mistake in choosing a specialty and leave institutes and universities. Therefore, a pause before the next admission attempt may be helpful.

But back to our unlucky applicant. How can I help him? The main task of loved ones in such a period is to try to transfer his emotions from the phase of “have pity on me unfortunate” to the phase “sooner or later I will achieve my goal”.

Often, the desire to prove consistency, despite the failure that has happened, works wonders. Peaceful stubbornness, persistence for results, and healthy ambition will help a young person take an active position and start moving forward.

If a school graduate did not pass the competition to the chosen university, he / she can:

  1. Submit documents to universities where exams are held later.
  2. Look for budgetary or paid places in other, less rated, educational institutions. They often announce additional recruiting of students after the main exams.
  3. It will be possible to try again to enter “your” institute in a year.
  4. Try your luck in the evening, correspondence or part-time departments . In the future, you can transfer to the full-time form of study or storm the first course again.

What can you do in a free year

  • Enroll in courses that will help you prepare for exams. It is better if they work at the university chosen for admission .
  • Work out with tutors or on your own to retake the exam next year. Graduates of the four previous years have the right to retake any subjects – both compulsory and optional, as well as change the “profile” of exams and choose other disciplines.
  • Submit documents to a school, college or technical school in order to go to an institute or university after graduation. Many secondary specialized educational institutions work with universities and prepare students for them.
  • To enroll in professional courses related to the future specialty or related to it. And also to study another specialty that can be useful in life.
  • Get to know your future profession in practice. Try to get a specialized job. Here you can learn from the inside all the subtleties of the business that you plan to do. It is possible that you will be disappointed. However, let this happen earlier than after graduation.


Very often our life consists of shattered plans, shattered illusions, failed trials and made mistakes. And only when we are at the pinnacle of success, we understand that we have climbed this ladder, thanks to and in spite of failures.

Is there life after failing exams? There is! But it needs to be filled with such content so that it does not resemble a tale of wasted time. Only acquisitions – fresh knowledge, new experience, self-confidence, confidence in one’s own intellectual advantage. Does every medal graduate own this kind of baggage? Not. And the “losers” applicants have it. And this is their absolute “plus”.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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